The Holiday Inn Select Downtown offers a reasonably priced hotel with a very good location, directly opposite the famous Peabody Hotel. Over at the Peabody hotel, the Peabody’s famous ducks walk from the elevator to the fountain in the lobby every morning and return to the elevator for their ride to their sleeping quarters on the roof of the hotel, watched by crowds of tourists and hotel guests
Two of Memphis’ most famous landmarks amongst Rock n Roll fans are Sun Studios and Graceland. Sun Studios has been remarkably well preserved and a short informative guided tour explains the history of the studio and the record label. A short drive outside of downtown Memphis is Elvis Presley’s Graceland. The legendary Stax recording studios have been recreated and features an excellent museum charting the development of Soul music, the history of the recording studio and Memphis in general, as well as the artists made famous by Stax.
Beale Street, provides a lively mix of blues, soul, R&B, and even Jazz. Rum Boogie Café and Alfred’s were my two favourite hangouts. With the latter providing excellent views overlooking Beale Street from its 1st floor patio. Live music can be found in the numerous bars, as well as in the park and on the street everyday of the week, but Saturday night was busy but fun experience.
Mud Island with its scale model of the Mississippi River was a nice interesting and relaxing walk in the warm sun. The various parks and streets lined with historic building also made for pleasant walks.
The Rock & Soul museum is also worth a visit as it charts the development of Blues and Country music through Rock n Roll, Soul and R&B. Just over the road is the Gibson guitar factory which offers tours throughout the day, this experience inspired me to try and learn to play the guitar (again – last time was when I was still at school!).
The drive from Memphis to Nashville was pleasant, with a tree lined highway for most of the route. I took a brief stop for Lunch at Natchez Trace State Park, which was a nice scenic recreation area not far from the main highway.